My final conference as Chairman

This last three days is my last as Chairman of the User Group for the Annual Conference – for me personally a sad and also a happy occasion……..which sounds strange. Sad because I will weirdly miss the tension and adrenalin as you get announced on stage, but happy because it marks the beginning of some change at the User Group. I’ve been in this role for nearly 6 years and had the privilege of working with some great people, and now it is time for a change – a new Chairman in Philip Adams who is based in Ireland demonstrating that whilst we are named UK & Ireland that Ireland is not a second fiddle in this organisation. In my time I’ve been lucky enough to have witnessed the User Group growing in size and influence, along with the staff growing and developing. There is one area that I haven’t seen though which I feel bad about – the fact that we haven’t (as yet) got any women as directors on the UG board; IT and it’s associated industries are still too far dominated by men, we need to change that.

So to the conference – we had a great one! The largest number of attendees we have ever had. We introduced more workshops, and SAP also agreed to work with us on their Innovation session which was really well received.

Our team pictured above worked the stand and managed the 60+ sessions incredibly well. Volunteers and employees working together to deliver an event that has become the premier SAP related event in the UK & Ireland today.

As I’ve said the event was well attended and above you can see the crowds as they entered the auditorium for the keynotes, and demo-jams. Positive feedback this year on the messaging we gave of our members concerns on the cloud, licensing and migration issues around BI/BW and business objects.

A great audience for just past 9am on a Monday in Manchester. They were very responsive and got a lot out of both the session from Ray Wang (who was his normal energetic and informed self), and Dr John Knell (who gave everybody everything that they need to know in Business – an MBA in 80 minutes). For me, something that was very close to home was his comment about electronic devices being a godsend because they mean you can do something useful in meetings. Anyone else willing to own up about this?

So to the evening and our well renowned gala dinner – a well attended event with a fleet of luxury coaches carrying the nearly 700 attendees to the Point at Lancashire County Cricket Ground.

A suitably transformed UG Staff and volunteers were part of the attendees and enjoyed entertainment from Jemma Kyrsa, Tenors Incognito, Davis Arman, Fantastic Fireworks and the everloved and everlasting Bogus Brothers.  Formalities of the day turned to informalities as the team deservedly let their hair down.

A great event that appears to have been enjoyed by all – keep watching as we intend to post video and photographs shortly and I will let you know when they are available.

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